State Highway 25 has re-opened to two lanes this afternoon following the final clean-up of the large slip at Ruamahanga Bay and a smaller slip at Waiomu between Thames and Coromandel. Temporary speed limits are in place.
Providing no further slips come down – the highway will remain open 24 hours a day from now, under regular supervision.
SH25 has also opened up to two lanes on the other side of the Peninsula between Hikuai and Opoutere this afternoon, following pavement stabilisation and the installation of temporary ramps.
The highway has been greatly compromised by a major under-slip at Opoutere since 6 March. Contractors cut into the bank to create a temporary lane before completing a permanent retaining wall.
On the Thames Coast highway, there has been issues with cliff stability for a fortnight since two large slips fell on Saturday 24 June.
“It’s been a huge job for our contractors, not only clearing the initial slips, but facing the on-going risk and challenge of slip material continuing to come down over the last two weeks,” says Waka Kotahi Journey Manager for the Waikato, Liam Ryan.
“The job has involved clearing hundreds of cubic metres of material away from site and efforts to mitigate the risk of further slips with abseiling specialists removing loose rock, arborists bringing down dangerous trees and sluicing of the cliff face using water dumped by helicopter.
“The road has been fully closed multiple times for public safety and to enable the work to take place. Road users have put up with long delays until vehicles could be piloted through or the road was re-opened to one lane under stop/go.
“In all of the work around the Coromandel, the priority for Waka Kotahi contractors has been clearing a pathway for emergency services then ensuring communities are reconnected as quickly and safely as possible,” Mr Ryan says.
The work done on all slip sites should improve ongoing resilience on this highway, but road users should expect wet weather will continue to pose a risk around the Peninsula.
Work will resume at SH25 Opoutere on Monday which will require periods of one hour long stop/stop closures. Asphalt surfacing is planned to take place on Tuesday night 11 July with up to one hour stop/stop closures required overnight from around 7pm.
“We appreciate how inconvenient these major repairs works have been for the communities, visitors and businesses on the Coromandel Peninsula – especially with the long-term closure of SH25A and thank everyone for their patience.”